Wednesday, December 31, 2014

{Goodbye 2014 - Reflections of the Year}

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{life reflections}
 Weekly thoughts and rambles. A glimpse into my mind and world. 
Entries that I might jot down in my Happy Diary; the release of thoughts to flow uninhibited. Reflections from the soul. 
Reflections of life.  

I hope to leave you inspired. 
If you want to share your own reflections of the week please leave a link to your "life reflections" entry in the comments for all to find and see.
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Goodbye 2014 - Reflections of the Year

Wow! We’ve already reached the end of 2014! What a year! As I sit here in my new little apartment, my eyes glancing to the large painting my boyfriend made me for my birthday, with my kitty on my lap, and the twinkle lights strung about the walls giving my creative space a cozy, moody feel, I can’t help smile. So much of my life is so immensely different from December of last year. The end of 2013 was a very bumpy road, as I previously blogged about. The feeling this year feels much much different. A feeling of fulfillment, excitement, and bliss sing in my heart with a very happy song. 
What a year indeed! 
To start upon this reflection, we can all be thankful we survived Mercury in Retrograde! What a ride that was for most people I know. I remember watching couple after couple breaking up—some of these were short-lived relationships, some of them fifteen-year marriages—but they collected one by one until over twenty people I knew had ended their relationships. I remember watching this domino effect, wondering when my turn would be. It was a feeling of mixed emotions, of relief and of fear. My turn certainly came—which has been no secret to my readers, starting with a rather large handful of blog posts that began in July. Because of this, and because of many other things, 2014 has been a year so divided in black and white that it still amazes me.  
As I made my cheesy “year in review” (like so many others) on Facebook, it only felt right to conclude that: as far as I was concerned, 2014 began in May. As I allow my fingers to roll over my keyboard with flowing thoughts, I can’t help realize that the first several months of 2014, however, were vital and necessary for the greatness that was to follow. Light cannot come without darkness. Breakthroughs don’t often come without turbulence, and happiness doesn’t come without first realizing what isn’t right in your life. So, the first half of 2014 was one of self-discovery, of getting honest with myself, of waging the war in my mind of what I really Wanted and Needed in order to enter a better phase of my life. I’ve spoken before about the vows I made myself in March, of the intentions I set, of the general turbulence of my own emotions. Although, thinking back, the first half of the year was truly an emotional struggle, there is no way I cannot be immensely grateful for it. Timing was everything, and I couldn’t be happier with how the wheel of time, and my own resolve and determination, unfolded my new life. It was all necessary. 
When the flower blossomed, it was all the more sweet and reassuring. Getting honest and clear with myself was such a blessing. Although I would have gladly gone without the immense heartache, it was all part of the process. New love has been such an eye-opening, warm, fuzzy, fulfilling change. If any more gratitude filled my heart, it might explode. There was plenty of cleansing, clearing, and healing of relationships in general this second half of the year; all of which have made this year all the more magnificent. 
Conclusion? 2014 was undoubtedly one of the greatest years of my life—even if the “great” part was felt mid-year. It has also been, undoubtedly, one of the hardest years of my life on an emotional level, and in relationships that extend beyond my love life. I learned a lot about myself, about what I wanted, about what I didn’t want; about what Made me Happy, and what made me not so happy; about what was blocking my personal growth, and about how to heal myself; about what was going wrong, and what was going right. I also learned a lot about Love; in various relationships and various forms, about not settling, and about being Deserving and Worthy of good things.

I look forward to emptying my “Jar of Happiness” once the clocks turn over into a brand new year as well; but that will be a separate post as it was the year before. For now, I will say that each year is a gift, filled with profound opportunities for growth and enlightenment. If there was one lesson that was most significant this year, it would be to Listen to your Heart. And I mean truly truly listen. The Heart Knows. Be honest with yourself, believe you are worth Happiness and Goodness, and good things will surely follow. 
Myself? I am extremely excited for 2015—and this year it’s not because I want the last year to end, but because I feel so blissful in my current state of affairs that it excites me of what’s to follow. 

So, here I am wishing you all a very Happy (and safe!) New Year’s Eve and a brilliant best New Year! 


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{this moment} - and the weekly {Smile-Up}

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"There are no ordinary moments." ~Way of the Peaceful Warrior

{no ordinary moments} - Photos capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments.
 -  using Daily Gratitude to see the world as anything but ordinary. -

Served with the weekly {Smile-Up} - gratitude practices to love and appreciate your life. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' and 'smile up' in the comments to share with the world.
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This year has been filled with so many amazing “no ordinary moments”. While my lack of blogging has left holes in the fun and adventure of my life the last few months, I felt it appropriate to end the year with a little post to add to some of these amazing moments I left out. 
So… here’s my “no ordinary moments” and my “Smile-Up” combined for the last couple of months! ;) 

{no ordinary moments} 

{my week of photos - 365 Grateful Project}

{Smile Up}:

Having the Best Birthday Ever
Harvesting Greens and making Kale Chips!  
Good times and late nights with friends   
Fall and Winter walks 
Cute “Sandpaper” black kitty who has made my boyfriend’s place her new home 
Kitties, kitties, kitties! ;)
How everything is so perfect and romantic with the boyfriend ♥ 
The Most amazing Oregon and California trip ever! (this is a different post in itself! ;)) 
Fun and ridiculous Halloween the night we got back from our 3 week trip! 
Oracle Card readings, and I-Ching consulting.     
Watching movies and shows with the boyfriend, all cozy on winter nights ^_^
Making Christmas Presents
Late night walks in the snow, and searching for twinkle lights.  
All my amazing customers and readers, and the super sweet messages I get    
An amazing Christmas with my family and boyfriend’s family ^_^ 

Loving: Fluffy snow • Twinkle Lights • Tall Socks and leg warmers • Painting and Crafting • Green hair • Walks • Chakras • Gemstones • Life-Reflecting • 

Interests for the week:
Reading: online articles 
✯  Current Anime/Manga: Hiiro no Kakera (anime)
✯  TV Shows/Movies: Adventure Time! Spirit Science (youtube videos)
Music Playlist: Death From Above, Blood Red Shoes, Elliot Smith, Kylesa, Jack off Jill, Draconian, so many more! 
Food Faves: Homemade Truffles Daiya Pizza Birthday PB CheeseCake   Crepes Tofu Scrambles Vegan Nog Tofurkey everything

Lessons of the week: 
 Self-worth issues: learn to work through them, it’s a really important issue that immensely affects your life! Balance out listening and talking; good communication is key! Patience: for yourself and others.   Make sure your Chakras are balanced — more on this topic to come. Love Yourself, love yourself, love yourself! ☀ 

Wishing you all an amazing end to 2014 and a fantabulous 2015!  
So much Love and Hugs! 


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Monday, December 22, 2014

☺ How to Survive and Enjoy the Holidays! ☺

*Originally posted December 2013--coming back for some Holiday Cheer! ;)*

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Christmas, it's the most wonderful time of the year! Or at least… it's supposed to be. All in all, the holiday season can be a bit dodgy. If your family is dysfunctional then chances are that it gets brought out that much more during the holiday season. Then there's all the money being spent and presents to buy and plans to make that can cause some more stress. However, truthfully, stress is always there, it's whether or not we are choosing to draw it out or let it slide off our backs and keep smiling. I'm rooting for the latter. And in rooting for the latter, I propose…

Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season (with a great big smile on your face!)

Remember to Breathe! 
Perhaps the most valuable and helpful thing you can do this chaotic time of year is to just simply take a step back and remember to breathe. Take a time out. Focus on your breath, clear your mind, and try smiling. Sometimes all you need is a couple of minutes to recuperate and find your centre, other times you may need a couple of hours; but however long it may be, take that for yourself, because things will flow a lot more smoothly when you centre and balance yourself. 
And be sure to brew a pot of herbal tea, sit down with a book or magazine and just take a break from the world every now and then. 
Drop Expectations!
Despite what we may so desperately want to believe at times, christmas day and the holidays are never perfect. Not setting yourself up for disappointment is important. That being said, I'm not encouraging you to mope around and accept that the holidays suck and are joyless. No, no, no. Instead, enjoy what's in front of you and make the most and best of it all, just know that things can go wrong and things are never perfect; but those stresses and disappointments can vanish away when you focus on joy, and of being around loved ones. So that doesn't mean you can't still have a damn amazing christmas, it's all in your perception and being happy with what Is!

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” ~Unknown

Choose to Enjoy the Holiday Season!
Reality is what we make it. Perception is everything. We may not have control over many things in life, but what we do have control over is how we deal with things. Be realistic and optimistic. For instance: it's a busy time of year, so know and prepare yourself that the stores are going to be busier and lineups may take longer; traffic may be slower; and other unexpected things can happen. But you can control your mood and decide your happiness. Set your mind on Enjoying the Holiday Season and you will! Look around and recognize the beauty around you. In family or other social gatherings, avoid the people you have a hard time with and spend more time with the people you like. Focus on joy and you will make it your experience. 

(re)Read ReLove's post "Holiday Season; Stress, Family, & Bringing Back the Magic"!  
I wrote this post two years ago and I find it relevant every holiday season. Sadly, family can be such a stressor and this post addresses this and how you can get through the holiday season with more joy and realizing that no one's family is perfect, and that's okay. 

Take care of Yourself! 
I know it's the time of year when we tend to drink more, eat foods we shouldn't, splurge, and generally neglect actually caring for ourselves a bit (or a lot). I'm not saying don't enjoy those things, but remember to do everything in moderation and to take special care to balance things out when you do. Don't act like those things won't effect your health. 
I like to recommend taking these extra steps to maintain health of your body and your mind; exercise daily (even if its taking a walk), gets lots of rest and sleep, take a multi-vitamin (and/or a B-complex, Vitamin C & magnesium, and D Drops), drink Lots of water, smile lots (I call this smile therapy), and balance out your eating habits by consuming extra veggies, greens, healthy proteins, and fresh juice when you can.   

Have a Healthy Christmas! 
Ah the Holiday season, time to stuff our faces full of sugar and bad-for-you food. Did I mention this already? Oh no, silly me. But! It needs emphasis! Now, I'm not saying it's not fun to indulge a little, but you Can enjoy the holiday season treats and still actually be healthy--who knew?! There are so many healthy and amazingly delicious recipe alternatives to butter and wheat and sugar filled crap that your body wants nothing to do with. Why sacrifice the love of your body and health when you don't have to? Try new recipes, try something different, and fall in love with healthy food--I promise you won't regret it! 
Replace gmo for organic. Replace the turkey for vegetarian and vegan alternatives--or if you're not going to replace the turkey, then offer more vegan alternatives for the health-conscious guests. Make your own egg nog! Replace refined sugar with organic cane sugar, stevia, agave, maple syrup, or anything other than refined sugar! 
Indulging is fun, and you can still do it by all means, but choose the healthier options, because they are still ridiculously delicious and your body and mind and health will thank you for it! 

Oh dear, I mentioned this one already too, didn't I? Well! It's pretty easy to fall out of exercise habits during this time of year, and I'm not here to tell you not to take it easy, but, you should still put in some effort for your health--especially if you plan on stuffing yourself full of unhealthy food. Do some yoga sessions; this will also help to centre and calm your busy mind. Go for a twenty minute walk, that's all you really need. Get together with some friends and play ice hokey, go snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating. Dance around your living room while you crank terrible pop music and do some baking. ;) Just get at least a little active; again, your body And Mind will thank you!   

Be a Kid! 
I think part of the magic of christmas is the nostalgia of childhood, and so what a perfect excuse to be a big kid! If you have younger siblings, or nieces or nephews, or grandkids, or kids of your own, then be a kid with them: be silly, be giddy, and laugh a lot. Personally, I plan on watching cartoons on christmas day with family, a little piece of my childhood--hoorah!    

Be Giving!
Part of the joys of gifts around the holidays is the actual Giving. I love the giving far more than the receiving. But there are those that have a hard time during the holidays and don't get to take part in the love of receiving either. Do your soul some good and be a little extra giving. Buy gifts for unexpected strangers, or those you know need it; sponsor a family for christmas to buy their presents who can't afford it; volunteer at the soup kitchen; go out and give meals to the homeless; volunteer at an animal shelter. Do your part and spread a little extra joy!  

Have a Green Christmas!
With climate change taunting us at every turn, I think it's important to consider being green this holiday season. I mean, egypt had snow for the first time in over 100 years! And all the madness we are seeing around the world should scream that action needs to be taken by each and every one of us. 
So! Check out ReLove's Holiday Green Tips! Simple and easy switches and things you can do to make your holiday season that much more respectful to mother earth and the animals that live here! ;) Every action counts! 

Respect Your Self! 
I feel like this needs special emphasis at this time of year. Be kind and loving towards yourself. You are not here for people to walk all over you, know when to remove yourself from a situation or when someone has crossed the line with you. You can still respect and be kind to other people and still respect and be kind to yourself. Remember that.  

Give out Free Hugs! 
Remember, because it's just that caring time of year. Spread love and joy onto others, it could remind them to smile and of the beauty that exists in the world. So go out and give out a few random hugs to strangers--and of course the people you love. 

Don’t isolate yourself.  
Being an introvert myself, too many social events and busy busy go-go time can definitely overload the circuits. Which is why Point #1 of this post is so vital. That being said, for those feeling depressed or in grief, a sense of loneliness often becomes stronger during the holidays. That’s why it’s important to break out of any self-imposed exile. Accept invitations, do some volunteer work, call up good friends, Do socialize, and try not to spend too much time by yourself.

Rely on YourSelf for Happiness! 
Remember that no one is responsible for your own happiness but You. Happiness is not something to chase after or that you "achieve." It is not something that can be bought, found in expensive "things" you don't need. And you certainly should not or cannot rely on another person for your Happiness. Only You are responsible for making yourself Happy, because Happiness comes from within. And because Happiness is a Choice. 

Wishing you all a magical and joyful Holiday Season! Keep those smiles brimming and joy spilling over to those around you! :)  
Much love from me to you! 


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